Your Seattle Parks Fall Bucket List

Seattleites know better than anyone that fun doesn’t have to stop when the rain starts. Fall arrived on Sept. 23, and we’ve compiled a list of this season’s must-dos.

Make a commitment to get out of the house this fall and prove to everyone you’re doing it. Send photos to @seattleparks and share your autumn adventures. #bucketlist

Discovery Park

Fancy some foliage
Red Tricycle recently came out with 10 Places to See Fantastic Fall Foliage, and we weren’t surprised to see that half of the list is made up of our parks. Take your family to explore Discovery Park, Lincoln Park, Woodland Park, Kubota Garden or the Washington Park Arboretum and count all of the different shades of oranges, yellows and reds. Bringing a thermos full of hot apple cider is highly recommended.

Brew some beer
Besides the changing leaves, lederhosen and dirndls are another sign of fall, or more accurately, Oktoberfest. The Pacific Northwest has a huge local beer scene. This year, why not learn how to make your own brew? Ballard, Bitter Lake and Belltown Community Centers are hosting home brewing classes this season.

Carkeek Park

Tread some trails
Trade in your flip flops for hiking boots, and hit some trails this fall. Parks has miles of developed and semi-developed trails to explore. Grab a map, fill your backpack with trail mix and you’ll be ready to roll.

Magnuson Park garden

Do some good
Spend a Saturday digging in the dirt and doing some good. From 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 11, Magnuson Park is hosting two stewardship events: one at the Magnuson Community Center demonstration gardens (Bird-friendly Landscape and Resource Conservation Landscape) and one at the Magnuson Children’s Garden. Assist Natural Area Wonderwoman Emily Bishton and Magnuson Nature Docents in providing guidance to a team of Seattle Works volunteers who will be giving both gardens a fall spruce-up, or assist in hosting hands-on nature activities for children. You can’t go wrong here.

Community face painting

Get some scares
Fall wouldn’t be complete without a visit from a ghost, goblin or gremlin. Our Northeast Community Centers are going gung-ho ghoul this year. On Friday, Oct. 17, Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center will host a Freaky Fall Festival. Then on Saturday, Oct. 18, they’ll hold a haunted house. On Friday, Oct. 24, Meadowbrook Community Center and Pool will host a Haunted Bounce and Spook the Pool. Also, for moms and dads who don’t want the pressure of painting their child’s face to look like a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle or Spider-Man, Magnuson Community Center is hosting free costume face painting on Friday, Oct. 31. We have many haunted happenings taking place this season. To find an event closer to your home, take a look through the community centers brochure for your neighborhood.

Spot some birds
Join a naturalist in the fall forest for a morning bird walk. In October, seasonal migration is at its peak. Carkeek Park is hosting a Fall Bird Walk from 9 – 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 25. All levels of birders are welcome, even beginners. The program is designed for adults and families with children ages 6 and older.

Dance some “Thriller”
Have you ever started instinctively doing side-to-side zombie arms when Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” comes on the radio? It happens to the best of us. Every year groups of people dubbed the “Thrillers” perform the famous choreography on the same day, at the same time across the world. This charitable event is called “Thrill the World.” This year, Seattle is scheduled to join in the fun at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 25, at Occidental Park. Head out to the park and watch it all unfold. Plus, we hear Seattle’s “Thrill the World” is raising money for the Alzheimer’s Association, so bring a donation if you’d like.

Community Dinners at Rainier Community Center

Cook some dinner
For many people, fall brings to mind turkey, thanks and togetherness. Our community centers are celebrating that spirit by hosting Community Dinners throughout the season. Stop by Rainier Community Center on Fridays, Oct. 17, or Nov. 21; or visit Rainier Beach on Sundays, Oct. 19, Nov. 16 or Dec. 21. Break bread with your neighbors. Suggested donation is $3 to $10.

Rent some relaxation
Little cabin in the woods, anyone? Did you know there are 10 cabins for rent in West Seattle’s Camp Long? For those of us who appreciate getting outdoors, but don’t appreciate soggy tents or tarps, rustic Camp Long is the perfect nature getaway. Each cabin sleeps six people and the grounds have restrooms, showers, barbeques and fire pits. Start practicing those camp fire songs.

Park Ranger Peggy Bohan

Learn some history
You call yourself a Seattleite, but how much do you really know about our city’s history? This fall, Seattle Park Rangers will be spending Thursday, Friday and Saturday afternoons giving talks about Seattle’s history and culture in Victor Steinbrueck Park. Talks take place at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. (these may be canceled in inclement weather). Bring your questions and learn some fun facts. You can share them with your friends later at Oktoberfest.